Here are some questions you may want to ask during an informational interview . Select 8-10 that are most relevant to the field and your interests, or create your own questions. Try to avoid asking questions that have "yes" or "no" answers; you’ll get more information with an open-ended question.
Remember that you have a limited amount of time, so choose your questions carefully!
- What is your job like? Describe a typical day. Would it be possible for me to observe you sometime?
- What kinds of problems do you deal with? What kinds of decisions do you make?
- Is your workflow steady or do you alternate between being very busy and very slow?
- How did you become interested in this field? How did you get started?
- What kind of jobs did you have before this one? How did they help prepare you for this work? Which jobs were most helpful?
- What is the best educational preparation for this field? Is a recent graduate’s GPA important in hiring decisions?
- What kind of growth patterns are you seeing in this field that I should consider in my decision?
- From your personal experience in this field, what attributes do you think are essential for success?
- What professional journals do you read? What professional organizations do you belong to?
- What part of your job do you find most interesting or rewarding? What parts do you dislike or feel dissatisfied with?
- What skills are needed in this field? What skills should I be concentrating on at this point in my education? What skills are looked for in entry-level employees?
- What experiences have you had that have been invaluable in learning your job?
- What are some of the difficulties in working in this field and what motivates you to stay in spite of them?
- What else should I know in order to make an informed decision about this field?
- Can you recommend someone else for me to talk with in this field? When I contact this person, may I use your name?
- Do you know of any comparable job titles I should be exploring in this field?
- Do you offer experiential learning opportunities such as internships, co-ops, and summer jobs? What level of college students do you consider for these positions? Whom can I contact for more information?
- Would you be willing to critique my resume?
- Why did you decide to work for this company? What do you like best about it? How is this company different from the competition? What is the corporate culture like?
- What kinds of professional development does your company offer? Do employees in this field generally get advanced degrees or special training?
- What would you be doing if you didn’t work for this company/in this field?